Neck gaiters. They’re the oddly-shaped tubular shields that deliver big protection to a fast-growing number of sun-smart Aussies. So, what is their purpose and why would you need one?
What is a neck gaiter and what makes a good one?
In essence, a neck gaiter is a compact accessory that packs a big punch in delivering warmth, cooling and sun protection. Unlike a scarf, which wraps and ties around the neck, a gaiter is a fixed tube that slides over the head and onto the neck for a secure fit. Depending on their intended purpose, they can be made from fleece, wool, synthetics or – in the case of the SParms version – cooling UPF50+ microfibre.
Quality neck gaiters are made to last, with a shape that moulds around the curves of the face and neck to deliver superior protection. While many on the market boast a boxy shape that relies on stretch to hold it on, a good gaiter features ear loops to help hold it in place, particularly when paired beneath a protective hat.
The addition of air vents through the nose and mouth area – such as those found on our face shields – delivers an even greater level of comfort and practicality, making them the best neck gaiter sun protection in Australia!
Who wears them? Why would I need one?
As you delve further into the (rapidly-growing) world of neck gaiters, you may be surprised to discover the vast range of ages, interests and professions harnessing the benefits of reliable, fuss-free sun protection.
It goes without saying that neck gaiters are a popular choice for sporting enthusiasts who spend large amounts of time outdoors. For instance:
- Golfers, cricketers and lawn bowls lovers welcome the unfailing sun protection afforded by neck gaiters during extensive periods of games in harsh conditions.
- Fishing lovers turn to lightweight neck gaiters for the cooling and moisture-wicking properties and the physical defence from the reflective UV rays
- Hikers and campers love the compact size and immense flexibility of a neck gaiter in a myriad of situations.
- Even skydivers and motorcyclists are catching on to the practicality of neck gaiters!
Professionally, they are enjoyed by posties, roofers, bricklayers and landscapers, to name just a few.
Recreationally they are commonly used by gardeners and hikers and are immediate sun protection for general home duties such as hanging out the washing and mowing the lawns. Even avid campers are singing their praises, with complete online forums dedicated to discussing the many creative ways (think headbands, lightweight beanies, makeshift slings and even snack bags!!!) that a neck gaiter can add value to your pack!
The appeal to such a broad spectrum (see what we did there?) of people is as obvious as it is simple: neck gaiters deliver unwavering protection from up to 98% of the sun’s damaging rays at a moment’s notice.
Thanks to their light-as-air fabrication, they can simply sit in the bottom of any sports bag, camping kit or handbag, requiring zero attention until they are called upon to deliver almost total protection of the commonly neglected chin, neck, ear and decolletage areas.
How do they work?
Unlike applying sunscreen to this tricky area of the body, donning a neck gaiter is fool proof. Simply slip the tube over your head (narrow end down) and onto your neck. Pull the wider end back up over your face with the mesh window covering the nose and mouth for breathability and hook the loops over the ears to secure.
For maximum protection, finish with a broad brimmed hat and/or UPF50+ face mask to protect against the elements as needed.
Once it’s on, the innovative fabric does all the work, physically blocking the sun’s UVA and UVB rays from reaching your skin for as long as you wear it. Once you are done, simply slide it off and add it to your next machine wash ready for another use. It really is that easy.